Our recent stealth attrition study identified that customers today are more willing to switch banks or consider purchasing a new service from a competing bank. This behaviour is exacerbated by increasingly easy account opening and on-boarding processes thanks to technology and improved back-of-house systems. With so many elements to consider when it comes to growing your bank’s business, sometimes it is easier to consider each element in isolation. Here we ask the question “Is your branch exterior working hard enough in attracting new customers?”
National and larger regional banks are paying renewed attention to branch transformation, and given this focus, it’s important to ensure your facility renovation or new build investments work hard at driving new customers to your bank. First impressions count, and customers make their buying decisions emotionally, in the blink of an eye. Is your building exterior helping you make that connection, or getting in the way?
To help ensure your exterior is working hard to draw new customers in, we have created a rating scale to better evaluate if you are getting the most curb appeal across your entire branch network. We have listed the criteria from the easiest to fix to those requiring significant investment.
Please rate each of the criteria on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “Below Expectations” and 5 meaning “Outstanding.”
1. Does your exterior signing need to be updated?
Is your sign faded, damaged, or the sign box rusted? Is the sign well located to be seen from the high traffic area near your location? Is your pylon or monument sign dated?
2. Is your 24 hour banking area well-defined and lit?
Is the exterior sign telling the right message? Is the ATM visible from the sidewalk or parking? Is your ATM located in an interior vestibule to provide comfort during in climate weather?
3. Is your parking lot clean, with clearly defined lanes?
Is the pavement clean and resurfaced/repainted? Are the parking lanes clearly defined? Are the drive-thru directional lanes clearly marked?
4. Are there clear sight-lines into the store?
Do you have too many posters in the windows blocking the view? Do you have too many old stickers that need to be removed? Are the window shades always pulled down irrespective of time of day?
5. Is your branch communicating change to passersby?
Are your posters working hard enough? Are your posters backlit to cut through the window reflections? Is your marketing message changing on a regular basis? Are your posters designed for vehicular and pedestrian traffic where you have less than a second to get your message across?
6. Does your exterior façade need a refresh or significant update?
Is the paint old and tired? Do the bricks needing new pointing? Are there graffiti or other unrelated posters plastered on your exterior walls?
7. Are your operating hours clearly identified?
Are they located on the bulkhead sign in addition to the entrance door? Are the operating hours located on the pylon or other forms of communication?
8. Is the main entrance easily identified from the parking lot?
Is the door lost within the building? Is there a dramatic sense of entry? Is the door location ideal for ease of access?
9. Is the layout inside your bank cluttered and messy looking?
Is furniture butted against windows? Is the location of interior furniture blocking visibility? Is there a lack of an organized look?
10. Is the interior of your branch well lit, clean, and visible from the street or parking lot?
Is your branch interior indicating you are current and up-to-date? Is the interior bright and inviting? Does it look professional?
If you score below 25 points, your current branch exterior program is failing to drive a positive curb appeal and the potential of attracting new customers. Review the criteria again to determine where each of your branches can stand to improve.